Enjoy Your Work Every Day

Vecinos: information and advice for our American communities

Enjoy Your Work Every Day

By Germán Velasco

Millions of people live uncomfortably every day working in the wrong job. Why do they cling to a job or a life that doesn’t satisfy them?
There is no one answer applicable to all cases, but I will describe factors that I frequently find in clients who have not been able to tolerate what they do every day while, at the same time, they feel they lack the strength to get out of the hole.
Two common factors stand out for me: the feeling of comfort and the feeling of familiarity with what they have been doing for years. These two anchors that tie us up in situations we would like to change are similar, but not exactly the same.
Both have immobilizing power. With greater familiarity usually comes greater comfort and ease in doing a job. But many times, the person is no longer comfortable and continues to cling to the routine for fear of venturing into unfamiliar terrain: Fear of the unfamiliar, the unknown. Fear of risk or discomfort involved in jumping to a different activity.
On the other hand, exploring a little more to find the life that best suits us can translate into feeling joy for what we do every day.
According to Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, “Your work will occupy a large part of your life, and the only way to be really satisfied is to do what you think is a great job. And the only way to do a great job is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Many people are trapped in the wrong life because of their commitment to staying in familiar territory. They may always live in the same city, spend time with the same friends, have their favorite places to eat or to have fun (and rarely consider new ones), use the same route on the way to work every day, not try new foods, etc. These little habits seem insignificant, but once we understand the effect of small routines, we can take action to strengthen our ability to change and become people capable of exploring unknown territories.
If you are having trouble making a big change in your life, I suggest you start introducing change in small ways. For example, travel more, change the décor in your house, go for a walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood in your city. Do something totally new every day – preferably something that makes you uncomfortable. Once you enjoy the options that life offers you in small things, you’ll open that door to big change, and you’ll be ready for the discomfort of the transition that comes with transforming your life. The grand prize is the happier life that’s waiting for you.

(Germán Velasco is the Executive Director of La Mano Amiga, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing informational resources to Latino immigrants.)

My go-to book: “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.”

by Aixa G. López

Go for it!

I love reading. I have always loved the ability to learn about other people’s ideas, experiences, successes, and challenges. I love reading non-fiction books because they seem more real to me.

Over the years, I have read plenty of books, but for some reason, there is one book I always go back to, especially when I feel unbalanced in my life. No, it’s not the Bible. I wish it were, but even when I like reading the Bible, it’s a little bit complicated sometimes. When I feel unbalanced, I like straight forward and simple things to learn.

I bought this book in 1997 just before moving from Puerto Rico to Upstate NY. I was in a pharmacy store and saw this thin, small, and cheap book that caught my attention. I bought it and started reading it. I liked the introduction and told my husband about it. At that time, he was not an avid reader, so I asked him if he minded listening to me reading the book out loud so I could share the information with him. It seems odd, but he agreed. Night after night we sat down, and I read it out loud.

This book’s name is the “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. What this book states challenged my life and personality in so many ways. I am a very driven person, and I grew up believing that I could control my present and my future. I wanted the world to think the way I thought, and I believed that because something was the “right thing to do,” it was evident to everyone.

These seven laws sometimes don’t make sense to us (at least they didn’t make sense to me) because they are based on ideas and concepts that are not popular in our society. Concepts such as “Least Effort”, “Giving”, “Detachment”, and “Purpose”. I have to admit that these laws were tough for me to swallow and still are.

Let’s start with the First Law: The Law of Pure Potentiality.

The First Law is about our existence. It says that each of our actions is based on our ego and our ego is our self-image. That means that if we think we are shy, we will behave that way. If we believe we are confident, that’s the way we will act. If you feel you are better than others, your actions will be based on that. That’s pretty obvious. However, we are so much more than what we think we are.

Our true-self (not our self-image) is our spirit, our soul and it is completely free of our ego (like when we are children). It is immune to criticism, it is fearless of any challenge, and it feels beneath no one. Moreover, it is also humble and feels superior to no one, because it recognizes that everyone else is the same “Self,” the same spirit in different disguises.

When we feel better than someone else because we are smarter or have more power or more money, that feeling is based on something external. The book describes this as “object-based” power.

That is very interesting because as soon as you lose that object, then who are you? If you lose the money or you meet someone smarter, how do you feel? Light Bulb Moment, isn’t it?

Silence is one of the best ways to get in touch with your true self. Being in silence and not reacting to everything has helped me meditate on what my ego “wants to do” versus what my true-self “should do.” Of course, I forget about this sometimes, especially when someone does something I don’t like.

I read this book when I was in the process of moving the first time to Upstate NY in 1997. At that moment I was not working, and I was spending much time at home; time to think and meditate. I can say those years were the happiest years of my life. We had NOTHING!

We didn’t own a house, we only had one car, we didn’t have any money in the bank, I wore clothes and shoes from bargain stores, our dining-out was pizza, and I used coupons to buy everything. Well, we had our true-selves, and we were delighted. I have videos and videos of those times, and I can see the pure potentiality in all of us.

I encourage you to read this book. Cheers to your “True-Self”!

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa shares with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way.

“Integrity Leadership” wanted

by Aixa G. López

Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure you have witnessed the happenings in the US, and if you are Hispanic like me, then, you must have heard about the situation in Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, several members of the governor’s cabinet were arrested based on corruption charges while the governor was put on the spot due to 900 pages of a leaked chat where he conspired to manipulate the media and government contracts and made misogynist, racist, and sexist jokes; including disgusting comments regarding people who died during Hurricane Maria.

These days, we see a lack of authentic leadership around the world, but worse than that, we are witnessing a lack of integrity everywhere you go. I am from a different generation; a generation where technology was minimal and where our parents raised us telling us that education, honesty, and integrity were the most important values to preserve. At some point in time, that changed.

I am not sure when or why we have become a society where money, status, opportunism, unlimited power, and manipulation are the standard operating procedure to be “successful.” However, I keep thinking about where does that take you. All these people that seem to be successful overnight, that become impromptu leaders of the world, and that act as if they can get away with everything, are being exposed.

At least in Puerto Rico, people have awakened. They were awakened by the crude reality of those 900 pages of a chat that showed a group of “bro’s” chatting shamelessly and showing their true colors; conspiring on how they could manipulate public perception by creating fake social media accounts and targeting specific groups in society.

This awakening made the people of Puerto Rico cross party lines and made their voices heard. They protested in ways that we have never witnessed before. They took the streets on feet, bicycles, yoga, silent protests, placing flowers and candles that represented those who died during the hurricane, with aquatic demonstrations, on horses, motorcycles, banging cooking pots, and many more ways. The result of this awakening was the removal of the governor — an accomplishment without precedent.

But when we look at the future, what do we see? Some people say that things need to get worse before they get better, and this is what I think will happen. The millennials have spoken and are establishing a new way of raising our voices. But, now what?

We need commitment and discipline. We need to seek new leaders and reflect on those values that our past leaders had, and that enabled them to make historical changes and gain privileges that we have enjoyed for many years; core values such as integrity, honesty, genuine love for our country, commitment, and TRANSPARENCY.

As an engineer, I look at problems in a different way. I see them as opportunities to improve and make significant changes. Let’s ask ourselves, am I honest at work? Do I give my 100% in all I do? When I see something wrong, do I look the other way? Do I care more about my paycheck than about my contribution? Ask yourself, how different I am from the President or the Governor? Do I mock, bully, and manipulate?

Having an introspection should be our next fight. Making a personal commitment to integrity shall become our motto in life. Demanding transparency is the only way to evolve into a new and better world, but it will take all of us to accomplish it.

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa shares with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way.

Laura Bush in CNY

by Miguel Balbuena

The 43rd First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush, came to central New York on May 1 to be interviewed during the latest installment of the D’Aniello Family Speaker Series.

This Serie was launched by Dan D’Aniello, a member of the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University

(SU), with the goal of promoting “dialogue on subjects with national impact with some of the nation’s most prominent leaders and thinkers speaking on topics such as entrepreneurship, free enterprise, patriotism, veterans’ issues and leadership,” according to the press release for the event.

D’Aniello is best known for co-founding the Carlyle Group, along with Bill Conway and David Rubenstein,

where he strengthened his connections to the Bush family and some of its closest friends. This investment management company has its fair share of detractors in the press, most notably The

Economist magazine, described by philosopher Karl Marx as an “organ of the aristocracy of finance.” This alleged mouthpiece of the plutocracy suggested that the Carlyle Group epitomizes “crony capitalism,” which operates in the liminal space between the political and business classes.

“The secretive Carlyle Group gives capitalism a bad name,” The Economist said in 2003. The only reason

quoted by this London-based publication for its hard assessment stemmed from a conference, held on the fateful date of September 11, 2001, in Washington, D.C., during which this business group was represented by its big-gun hires such as formers President George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State James Baker and Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci.

“The conference was hosted by the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that manages billions of dollars,

including, at the time, some bin Laden family wealth. It also employs Messrs. Bush and Baker. “In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, when no one was being allowed in or out of the United States, many members of the bin Laden family in America were spirited home to Saudi Arabia. The revival

of defense spending that followed greatly increased the value of the Carlyle Group’s investments in

defense companies.”

Laura Bush graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in University Park, Texas, with a

baccalaureate in education, followed five years later with a master’s degree in library science from

the University of Texas at Austin. Fittingly, during her stay in central New York, Bush was questioned

on stage by SU’s Dean of Libraries and University Librarian David Seaman, born in England. The interview, which only lasted half an hour, took place in the Marvin and Helaine Lender

Auditorium of the Martin Whitman School of Management on the SU’s campus.

The format of the function insured Bush having limited interaction with the general public in attendance. Besides the 30-minute time constraint, no questions from the audience were allowed and, at the end of the event, Bush was whisked away by three Secret Service agents through a door next to the stage, far away from the two back doors used by the public. Seaman said that she had to leave for another commitment, probably with the university head honchos.

Further isolating the regular attendees, they were relegated to a few upper rows of seats in the

auditorium, with only 64 spots available, which were all taken half an hour prior the starting time of

the dialogue between Bush and Seaman. Those who tried to enter after that time were courteously

directed to the overflow room, where they comfortably watched the event via video link.

As an undergraduate at SMU, the 43th First Lady was a member of its chapter of the Kappa Alpha

Theta sorority. Her sisters from its homologous chapter at SU were seated in the Very Important Person

section of the auditorium and they were acknowledged by Bush when the emcee pointed out their

presence to her. The VIP section, consisting mostly of school faculty and administrators, occupied the

front part of the room, about 70 percent of it. Between this section and the ordinary one were three

rows reserved for reporters like myself.

The interview was not conducted by a professional journalist nor a political scientist. No probing

questions were asked. Despite this, some insight into Bush’s personality could be gleaned. I could

summarize it with a Latin phrase: “A healthy mind in a healthy body.”

About the author: Miguel Balbuena is a writer in the academic, scientific, journalistic and literary fields

(in the fiction and non-fiction genres).

Ways fathers can empower their daughters

Go for it!
by Aixa G. López

You wake up one day, and you realize you are the father of a baby girl. All of a sudden it hits you and you start asking yourself, “what am I going to do? I need to learn about “girl stuff.” You start thinking about all the things women go through and what future your daughter may have. It seems challenging, right?

Well, as a father, you have more power of influence than you may think. Girls are usually drawn to their fathers, and sometimes parents don’t realize how much impact they can have on their children’s future.

These are some things that I experienced with my dad, and that allowed me not to be afraid to get into a male-dominated industry and stay in it for over twenty (20) years.

1. Try not to impose “girly” expectations: “girls wear pink and boys wear blue” paradigm is outdated. Allow your daughter to experience different aspects of life. If you also have boys, let her play with them. Teach them that they need each other. Women and men need each other to succeed. Show her how to ask men for help in a positive, noncompetitive way but also a confident and assertive manner.

2. Teach her not to wait for the “perfect prince” to come and take care of her: we are taught that one day we’ll meet the perfect guy that will take care of us. There’s nothing wrong with meeting that guy, but we should not look at him as our savior. Fathers are role models for their daughters. They should teach them how to think independently, to pursue a career, not to have someone to fall back on. Men and women should create a partnership in which they support, teach, and help one another so that both parties can grow and succeed.

3. Allow her to participate in the things you do: my father is very crafty. He was always doing things around the house. I loved observing him. He always allowed me to help. As a teenager, I was always changing the layout of my room. I never asked for any help. I moved things around and put things on the wall by myself.

4. Praise her confidence – give her feedback: Praise the fact that she dares to do or say something. Explain to her that she doesn’t have to succeed at everything, that failure is part of the process. Women tend to take defeat from the heart. We think that if we fail at something, then, we “are” a failure. Teach her that to grow and become a better person; you will have to experience failure. Let her know that occasional failure is okay and that she will have people around that will support her and help her move forward.

5. Be there for her and just enjoy seeing her grow: have fun being a father of a girl. It’s fantastic for a girl to know that a male figure will always be there for her and have her back. There will come a time in which your daughter will teach you and will take care of you.

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa shares with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way.

Latina Leaders – WISE Latina 2019

Join us at this year’s WISE Latina session, “Latina Leaders Expanding the Definition of Health”

Date: April 25th, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30pm
Location: Sky Armory

WISE Latina 2019 Featured Speaker is Carmen M. Peña, M.A., Coach & Motivational Speaker

Join fellow Latina professionals and entrepreneurs from throughout New York State at this year’s WISE Latina Conference at the WISE Symposium. Bright and successful mujeres from Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Utica and New York City will be attending, and we’re excited to host you too. Our 2019 program will feature a prominent Latina who is Leading the way and expanding the definition of health. She will guide attendees in creating a plan to live a life that is Meaningful to them and impacts their families, their communities, their businesses and the world around them. This year’s event will offer reflections on both personal and business growth, while offering practical tips and tools for becoming Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise.

This year’s focus is on the personal search to expanding the definition of health within in order to find Physical, Mental, Emotional and Financial Health, and the wisdom to lead the way. We will creatively encourage women to seek out practical ways to launch successful business enterprises through which they can positively impact their own sustainability as well as that of their communities. We’re looking forward to seeing you at this year’s session. All women are bienvenidas.

Carmen’s solution-oriented, positive approach will help us discover how to form healthy habits that lead us to achieve our goals. She will be speaking on self-empowerment, mindfulness, and how to transform into the best version of ourselves. The intention is to have Latinas leave the event feeling good, with increased confidence and a clearer vision of the action steps necessary to get to the next level of their dreams and goals successfully.

For price and to view the full WISE SYMPOSIUM agenda go to www.wisesyracuse.com or read more about WISE Latina at www.wiselatina.org



WISE Latina ticket includes full access to the WISE Symposium (8:00am to 5:30pm) continental breakfast, lunch, breakout sessions and cocktail party. The WISE Symposium is an event produced by The Events Company in partnership with WISE Women’s Business Center and SKY Armory. WISE Symposium ticket holders can attend WISE Latina at lunch time without additional expense.

Want to know more? We’ll share the WISE Symposium speaker’s full bios in our next update and on our Facebook Event Page!

We want to hear from you! Before and during the event, please Tweet out your pictures, saludos and responses using the WISE Latina Hashtags:

#wiselatina2019 or #wiselatina or #wise2019

Are you a Spanish speaker? We will offer FREE Spanish translation throughout the event so you can enjoy the conference, even if Spanish is your first, preferred or only language.

The Famous Fifteen

by Hugo Acosta

2004 – 2019… 15 years that could be identified in many occasions with many events, but in my life, and hopefully for the local Latino (or even non-Latino) community of Central New York (or even the entire New York State), these 15 years has been a mixed of growing pains and enjoyable pleasure, in a journey of varies experiences, that have developed and made the CNY Latino newspaper, what it is now, and yours truly (Hugo Acosta) what he is now.

There is a popular traditional milestone in the Latino culture called Quinceañera, that is the colloquial name of when a Hispanic Girl becomes a woman, at the age of 15 years old (see article about Quinceañera in the print publication of the CNY Latino newspaper February 2019 edition). Now, I don’t want to insinuate any gender classification, nor to identify our newspaper as a female entity, but we could say that we are right now going through (and celebrating) a Quinceañera moment, with this 15-year anniversary, and we probably should be doing all the different actions and components this cultural moment brings. Well… we are not going to do anything like that… not for now, but we will try to enjoy the moment, reflect the milestone, and contemplate about our progress (or our failures – if any).

During the last week of each month, I try with Marisol and our small staff, to put together a publication we want (and hope) to be proud in our culture and for our people, and we do our best to do it error-less and presentable, not only to have a good product to represent well and with pride the publishing industry, but also to represent well and with pride the Latino culture. That last week of the month very often give us chaotic times of deadlines and rushing goals, that we have to handle and struggle, with other business errands or life procedures, and even though there has been some delays or setbacks during this 15 year, we are proud to also indicate they have been very few and very minor, to consider them of any significant issues to grieve and regret about it.

In each anniversary year (for the past 14 years) I have been trying with these editorials, not only to express myself as celebration of each commemoration, but also to describe the feeling of both accomplishment and success, for a product that has been very well welcome from its creation, until nowadays; and I hope that now, I can again provide here, my humbling sense of achievement and appreciation of success. It has not been easy, and in many occasions, it has been frustrating, but once problems have been resolved and obstacles have been overcome, the overall experience was fulfilling and that mentioned sense of success was always very gratifying.

I believe that for the last 4 or 5 editorials (4 or 5 years) I have mentioned the gradual but surely changes the newspaper industry has been going through, and the business alterations we are experiencing (and suffering) with respect of a traditional way of delivering a message (and the news). Those changes are still happening, and are still affecting our product, and in a way also affecting how we do business, and how our chances of being profitable (or how our chances of survival) are; but we will adapt to those changes, and will keep providing to our community and our culture… as long as they demand or ask for. I hope I didn’t sound pessimistic nor I seemed to be negative, but life always changes, and technology is affecting the publishing trade to the point that many newspapers and publications are closing and disappearing. Nevertheless, thanks to our culture, we believe CNY Latino will still be around for a while… maybe 5 or 7 more years… maybe less… maybe more, and we will keep our goals to defend and protect our culture, preserve and safeguard our people (in America), and deliver the message and the news, in BOTH “English” AND “Spanish”, in the traditional paper format, in the new digital version, or however the new changes bring us to do.

Of course (as also mentioned in past editorials), all these accomplishments and successes could not be done, without the constant help and patience of my business (and life) partner Marisol Hernandez, the dedication and commitment of our associates, the sporadic help of our Interns, and the indirect support of our friends and family (especially during those hard-difficult moments). You put all this together with the unconditional backing of our Latino (and non-Latino) community, the loyal readership and the dedicated advertisers, and the supportive vendors, we in CNY Latino have been lucky to become what we are now, and celebrate such of a commemorative and memorial anniversary.

So, with all this said… THANK YOU…! Thank you very much..! and we will try our best, to keep and better the making of this newspaper, to keep and better the delivery of the message and the news, and to keep and better protecting and defending our culture and our people.